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Choosing Quality Health Care
Here are some tips for including quality in your health care decisions. Such decisions involve health plans, doctors, treatments, hospitals, and long-term care.
Look for a health plan that:
- Has been given high ratings by its members on the things that are important to you.
- Does a good job of helping people stay well and get better.
- Has the doctors and hospitals you want or need.
- Provides the benefits (covered services) you need.
- Provides services where and when you need them.
Look for a doctor who:
- Has received high ratings for quality of care.
- Has the training and experience to meet your needs.
- Takes steps to prevent illness—for example, will talk to you about getting the screening tests that are right for you.
- Can get you admitted to or treat you at the hospital of your choice.
- Is part of your health plan, unless you are willing to pay extra.
- Will work with you to make decisions about your health care.
When choosing a treatment, make sure you understand:
- Your diagnosis.
- How soon you need to be treated.
- Your treatment choices.
- Whether the treatments are based on the latest scientific evidence.
- The benefits and risks of each treatment.
- The costs of each treatment.
- How much experience your doctor has in treating your condition.
Look for a hospital that:
- Is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
- Is rated highly by the State and by consumer groups or other organizations.
- Is one where your doctor can treat you.
- Is covered by your health plan.
- Has a lot of experience and success with your condition.
- Monitors quality of care and works to improve quality.
Look for a long-term-care facility that:
- Has been found by State agencies and other groups to provide quality care.
- Provides a level of care, including staff and services, that will meet your needs.
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